The Alberta government has announced that it will launch a single regulator for oil and gas development within the Province in an effort to improve its competitiveness.

In a statement released today, Energy Minister Ron Liepert said the provincial government has accepted a report created by the Regulatory Enhancement Task Force (Task Force). The recommendations outlined in the report include:

  • Establishing a new Policy Management Office and ensuring integration of natural resource polices;
  • Creating a single oil and gas regulatory body;
  • Providing clear public engagement processes;
  • Using a common approach to risk assessment and management;
  • Adopting performance measures to enable continuous system improvement; and
  • Creating a mechanism to help resolve disputes between landowners and companies, and enforce agreements where required.

Liepert stated that the recommendations will be immediately taken through the appropriate government review process for implementation and that legislation will be introduced this spring to being implementation of the report. Practically, functions that were previously the responsibility of separate ministries, such as Alberta Environment and Alberta Sustainable Resource Development, will now be co-ordinated by the Energy Resource Conservation Board.

The Task Force was created in March 2010 after a review found that the oil and gas regulatory system in Alberta had become increasingly complex and characterized by a lack of integrated policies. The goal of the task force was to perform an upstream oil and gas regulatory review and recommend system level reforms to ensure the Province has an efficient and competitive regulatory system which also maintains Alberta’s commitment to environmental management, public safety and resource conservation.

A complete copy of the report is available here.